Divi Neguma to boost ornamental fish industry: Basil

Wednesday, 21 August 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A major effort is being made under the Divi Neguma program to find an international market for ornamental fish from Sri Lanka, according to Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa.  He said this when he distributed assistance to those engaged in the ornamental fish industry at Oruthota, Gampaha, recently. The National Aquatic Development Authority’s training centre at Rambadagalla trained them under the Divi Neguma Programme. The NADA issued cheques to 130 of them while the Samurdhi Authority provided 100 Juki sewing machines to people under a Samurdhi loan scheme. The Minister handed the cheques and the machines to both groups of beneficiaries at the same event. He pointed out that only 3% of the world’s demand for ornamental fish has so far been met, especially since a major supplier, Singapore, has begun to withdraw from the market. He further said that those engaged in the ornamental fish industry are being provided with assistance to build fish tanks while those in the inland fisheries industry are been given assistance in the form grants and loans. Minister Rajapaksa added that the Liya Abiman Organisation and several other state sector organisations were giving such assistance to empower women and raise the living standards of all those willing to contribute to the economy of their areas and of the country through self-employment. He said these steps taken under Divi Neguma would strengthen the financial status of those who might be adversely affected by the rising cost of living resulting from the competitive market economy. Minister Rajapaksa also stressed that President Rajapaksa is now reviving the marketing sectors the UNP Government had destroyed. Opportunity is now available for Sri Lankans to sell local products at the Divi Neguma Department’s Marketing Division as well as at Laksala, the Main Bus Stand, Katunayake Airport and Battaramulla Diyatha Gardens. Deputy Ministers Lasantha Alagiyawanna and Dulip Wijesekera, Parliamentarians Ruwan Ranatunga and Wasantha Senanayake, Liya Abiman Organisation President Attorney Pushpa Rajapaksa, Samurdhi Director-General Bandula Tilakasairi, NADA Chairman Jayantha Chandrasoma, the Gampaha GA and many others attended the event.